I love what feeding a balanced, raw diet does for cats. But everything we do that isn’t exactly what Mother Nature intended has consequences. Like, for instance, the act of grinding the food. I don’t see a way around that – in order to feed a nice balance of meat, organs, and bones, we have to grind those bones up so they’re of a safe size.
But in grinding it all, our cats lose the benefit they’d get from shearing at large chunks of muscle meat. Benefits to their teeth and their gums. But since we’re usually feeding animals that have bones that are much larger than what a cat would eat as her natural prey, we’re left to grind up the bones and the meat along with it.
If your cat is game and has a healthy mouth? Then you might consider feeding some meals now and again of big chunks of just muscle meat. I like to cut up chicken thighs (minus the bone) into sizable pieces – a couple of inches for each piece – and feed those.
Not every cat is up to the task. My previous cats couldn’t be bribed, cajoled, or begged into eating chunks. But the two boy-cats I live with now are game, and they do a pretty good job. Even Wilson, who’s missing more than a few teeth, does an admirable job if the chunks aren’t too big – though he takes longer than he would if he had all his premolars.
Sidney-Beans, on the other hand (knock wood) has all his chompers in place and tears through big chunks of muscle meat like a pro. We’re so proud.
Have a look at the video – Sidney-Beans shows how it’s done.
Throw in some regular checkups to assess and take care of your cat’s dental health – and add in some tooth-brushing? You’ve done a lot to help ensure your cat has the best shot at good dental health.